Ferguson takes first at Eisenhower Mat Classic

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Several members of the Cheney Blackhawks wrestling team brought home medals Dec. 20, after they competed at the Eisenhower Mat Classic in Yakima.

Michael Ferguson capped off an impressive day after taking first place in the 220-pound weight class. Ferguson won all of his matches via pin, including a first-period pinfall in the championship round against Naches Valley’s Christopher Jones. He was awarded “most outstanding wrestler” and “most valuable wrestler” of the tournament.

Head coach Brad Rasmussen said Ferguson showed great technique and conditioning throughout the tournament.

“The MVP honor was icing on the cake,” Rasmussen said. “It was unexpected (but) well deserved.”

Justin Randolph (170) took third in his division after he pinned Wenatchee’s Logan Tidd in the first period of his final match. Rasmussen said Randolph was recovering from being ill.

“His cardio wasn’t quite there, but he did a great job,” Rasmussen said. “The rest of the team saw that and rallied behind him.”

Devon Waterman (182) and Garrett Pederson (285) both took fifth in their divisions. Waterman is still recovering from health issues, though he is improving every day as is Pederson.

Braden Wirth, Tyler Nyugen and Francisco Martinez had wins in the earlier rounds of the tournament but were eliminated in the consolation bracket. The Blackhawks finished seventh out of 15 teams with 86.5 points.

After Cheney competes in the Tri-County Invite Dec. 23 at Central Valley High School, they finish 2014 at the Freeman Invite Dec. 30.

During winter break, the Blackhawks will work on conditioning, technique, as well as physical and mental toughness. Every year the team has a “Black Flag Day,” which Rasmussen describes as an “intense four-hour practice.”

“We are making a big push over break to try and separate ourselves from the rest of the schools,” Rasmussen said. “It’s tough because the kids don’t have a lot of days off but it pays off in the postseason.”

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About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.
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